FranklinCovey has recently partnered with OpenSesame to offer some of our online learning courses to their catalog. In addition, the company is reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Below is a post from Sarah Eadie, a content creation and online marketing specialist OpenSesame about her experience reading the book.
It is hard to practice Win-Win behavior when you feel like you’re living in scarcity. When I dropped out of college to take a gap year, it was hard to think of anyone but myself. Each day I sat in various coffee shops frantically typing out cover letters to jobs I wouldn’t get, and each night I’d find temporary solace on a friend’s couch.
My friend was a recent graduate of the same college I had left. She had staggering amounts of debt and was also unemployed – a tremendously stressful situation. In the evenings, we’d sit together at her kitchen table drinking instant coffee and complaining. “I can’t believe they won’t hire me! This economy is awful!” We were caught up in our Lose/Win situation, the victims of circumstances beyond our control. Or so I thought…
Things really started to change after my first job interview. When I got the email in my inbox scheduling an interview with a local company for an administrative assistant position, I was ecstatic. That night at my friend’s table, we discussed the ways in which the position would change my current situation – putting me in contact with powerful people, bolstering my resume, acting as a springboard for other opportunities.
These dreams of a steady income played on repeat in my brain as I sat across from my interviewer the next day. When she asked me why I wanted the position, I rattled off my desires with aplomb: “Working for your company is a great opportunity for me to build some business connections while developing some new business skills. Of course, that steady paycheck is a big plus, as well as the flexible hours.” My interviewer waited patiently while I finished rambling, and then followed up by asking, “What do you have to offer us?” I was rendered speechless, stuttering to come up with an answer. What did I have to offer them? I was the one in desperate need of work!
It was in that moment that I realized, in the most painfully embarrassing way possible, I had been going about the interview process in a way that emphasized my personal win, and minimized that of the company. I knew that, moving forward, the only way to be truly effective in my job search was to think Win/Win. I needed to prove my value to them before I would be able to reap the benefits of gainful employment.
Needless to say, I didn’t get a call back. However, for my next interview, I did my research. I took a close look at the company – their job posting, their website, their company blog – and came up with a list of things I knew I could do to improve their current strategies from day one. I was confident this interview would be different from my last one. I walked in, sat down, and began a discussion about my abilities and how they would provide value to the company.
While I didn’t realize it then, I was implementing Dr. Stephen Covey’s 4th Habit of The 7 Habits Highly Effective People. I wasn’t being a doormat – the company was agreeing to pay me a reasonable wage and provide me with valuable business experience. But, at the same time, I wasn’t focused solely on myself. I was thinking about how we could both benefit from a business relationship. I was thinking Win/Win.
By the end of the interview, my future boss was ecstatic. I had articulated potential solutions to problems she knew existed, and ones she didn’t knew she had. She called me the next week to offer me the job. Thinking Win/Win helped me shift my personal paradigm to one of abundance, and start my career in an economy of scarcity.
Sarah Eadie is a content creation and online marketing specialist at OpenSesame, the world’s elearning marketplace. She studies Chinese language and literature at Portland State University.
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